Raffaello Romanelli – Italian Sculptor

image courtesy of Frank H. Boos Gallery.

p4A ItemID B132984
A bronze sculpture with dark brown patina by Raffaello Romanelli (Italian, 1856 to 1928), Portrait of a Man

p4A ItemID D9670530
A large pair of carved white marble male and female sphinxes by Pasquale Romanelli, Italian, second half 19th century. The male figure signed P. Romanelli to the back lefthand side of base

p4A ItemID E8983210
Marble sculpture by Raffaello Romanelli, Acquaiola, indistinctly signed

p4A ItemID E8944425

Raffaello Romanelli (Italian, 1856 to 1928)

Raffaello Romanelli was the second generation of a dynasty of Florentine sculptors active from the 1820s onward. The son of Pasquale Romanelli, he is considered one of the foremost Italian monumental sculptors of his generation. He studied under his father (a pupil of Lorenzo Bartolini) and August Rivalta at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, moving to Rome briefly in 1880. During the 1890s he was commissioned for numerous funerary and public monuments in Florence, including those to Donatello (Chiesa Medicea di San Lorenzo) and Cellini on the Ponte Vecchio. International fame was secured by high profile commissions such as the Demidoff monument in Kiev and the General Martin monument in Caracas, as well as through his successive showings at the international exhibitions of the period.

By the first decade of the 20th century Raffaello had achieved a reputation in both the United States and Europe, and had garnered effusive praise in the international press, with the The Anglo-American Gazette calling him “Italy’s greatest living sculptor,” in 1908 and the San Francisco Examiner contending that he was “to Italy what Rodin is to France” in 1915. He was eventually appointed Professor of the Accademia where he promoted his naturalistic style and was followed by his son Romano, who had an equally successful career as a sculptor.

Information courtesy of Sotheby’s October 2012.

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